By Saloni N
If you thought T-20 cricket was a game where winds could change quickly, you are wrong, just ask the under fire Indian captain MS Dhoni and the Indian team who had to settle for a draw in the Wellington test and hence lost the two match test series 1-0 to New Zealand.
After the fantastic triple ton (302) by Brendon McCullum, century by debutant Jimmy Neesham and the unforgettable record 352-run partnership between McCullum and Bradley-John Watling for the sixth wicket, it will be difficult to swallow that it was advantage India in the first two days of the test.
In the first test at Eden Park, New Zealand registered a 40 run win, and wicket-keeper Walting was a major player, with nine dismissals. Despite heroic efforts by Shikhar Dhawan (115) and Virat Kohli, Neil Wagner took four wickets in the Indian second innings and the Indian side fell short of the 407 target. It was India’s failed bowling that allowed the Kiwis to score 503 in the first innings and their superb bowling leading to India being dismissed for 202 in the first innings.
In the second test, on Day 3 the Kiwis were 94-5, with 130 more runs needed to make India bat again and the missed catch of Brendon McCullum led to India’s downfall.
This tour has relight the debate, Is India a failed team overseas? This is a question that has been tackled over and over by many experts in the field and has risen again because of the inability of the Indian team to win a single match in 2014 and the blame is again being put on the weak bowling of the Indian side.
If one looks at the statistics the picture is clear, India has lost 10 of their last 12 tests abroad and didn’t register a single win because the remaining two were draws. The team also suffered 4-0 whitewashes in England and Australia and can now add the 1-0 loss against the Kiwis.
The Indian team maybe ranked 2 in tests in the ICC ranking however a closer look reveals that this position is despite their inability to register a single overseas win in three years. Many former Indian players have pointed out that the pitches abroad are faster and bouncier which is the complete opposite of Indian pitches. But shouldn’t the Indian team factor all of these in and adapt?
The blame is being put not only on the bowlers but also on the Indian skipper’s defensive strategy that has seen India squander strong chances in the the New Zealand test matches. In the first test from a position of needing 185 runs to win with five wickets in hand to being dismissed for 366.
Under the captaincy of Dhoni, of the 23 matches played overseas, the record is dubious, 5 wins, 11 losses and 7 draws while at home the record reflects a different picture all together, 21 wins, 3 losses and 6 draws giving credence to the debate about the Indian side being best at home.
What is being considered a bigger shame than the defeat is the taunts by the Indian captain to the bowlers that have been caught on micro-phone reflecting that the Indian eleven aren’t really playing like a team.
The Indian team now heads home defeated with the Asia Cup next but the Indian selectors, need to do a full post-mortem of the Indian players, captain and coaching staff to justify India’s test ranking and restore India’s record.